Traveling in Italy’s Off Season: Florence

November 20, 2012

Thinking of visiting Florence… in the winter? You’re in luck—we think it’s one of the best times of year to come! (Really!) Here are a few reasons why you’ll like Florence in the off season… as well as some other (maybe not as great) things to keep in mind about the off season in Florence!

When is the off season in Florence? November to Easter, excluding Christmas and New Year’s.

What to expect in the off season: Florence is a small city that gets big tourist crowds. In the off season, this doesn’t go away entirely (it never can!), but it does lessen a lot. You might not have Michelangelo’s David to yourself, for example, but you might be sharing him with only one or two dozen other people—and you probably won’t have to worry about a line to get in.

Winter in Florence comes with perks—including, in December, Christmas markets!

It also, of course, makes it easier to people-watch… the Florentines, that is! Now’s a great time of year to linger over a glass of wine in a Florentine enoteca, watching the well-dressed locals around you.

Around Christmas, moreover, you start to get that festive feel in the air. Twinkling lights are strung across the streets, Italians are out in droves shopping for the holidays, and Christmas markets start to pop up.

Just remember that the weather can be chilly, and wet. November is the rainiest month of the year for Florence, which tends to get about 4-5 inches of rain that month—an amount comparable to New York City, but, believe it or not, twice as much as the average for London. (Really!). The coldest month is January, which averages between 34°-50°F. Still, compared to many other parts of the world, it’s still relatively mild.

In winter, sights like Florence’s Duomo are far less crowded

If you come to Florence in the low season: Bring layers—and if you want to “fit in” with the fashionable Florentines (or at least not look like a first-time tourist), remember the winter dress code: leather shoes for men and boots for women, wool button-up coats, leather gloves, and, of course, a stylish, warm scarf (for men too!). Other than that, simply enjoy. This a fantastic time of year to visit Florence!

Don’t miss our earlier posts on what to expect in Italy’s lake district, Venice, and the Cinque Terre in the off season!

by Walks of Italy

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